Nearly 17,000 diagnostic tests results were reported in the Minnesota Department of Health's Thursday COVID-19 update, with more than 750 of the tests being positive.
There were also nine new deaths reported, six of the nine being residents who live in assisted-living facilities or long-term care settings. Minnesota's death toll since the beginning of the pandemic is at 1,561 – 1,198 being residents of long-term care, who are more vulnerable to severe symptoms of the virus.
There was a drop in ICU patients, going from 119 in Wednesday's report to 107 Thursday. However, the total number of COVID-19 patients increased from 273 to 282. That's the highest concurrent total in Minnesota since June 28 (288), though it's not yet close to the all-time high of 606 on May 28.
Overall, the Thursday update includes 763 new cases, three of which have been removed for an official count of 760. Those positives are the result of 16,676 tests, which creates a daily positive test rate of 4.56%.
The World Health Organization says that a 14-day positive test rate of below 5 percent is the key to keeping businesses open. Minnesota's 7-day rolling average, as of Wednesday, was 4.30%, according to Johns Hopkins University.
"If you go above 5 percent it indicates that you may be heading back into a phase of more rapid spread of the disease," said MDH Commissioner Jan Malcolm.
Coronavirus in Minnesota by the numbers:
- Tests: 905,315 (up from 888,551)
- Positive cases: 48,721 (up from 47,961)
- Deaths: 1,561 (up from 1,552)
- Still hospitalized: 282 (up from 273)
- Patients in intensive care: 107 (down from 119)
- Patients no longer requiring isolation: 42,524 (up from 42,234)